Colombo Chow-chow

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Passion for Vegetables

By Paul Gayler

Published 1999

  • About


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 450 g (1 lb) chow-chow (chayote), peeled, cored, deseeded and cut into large chunks
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom pods, crushed, black seeds removed
  • 2.5 cm (1 in) piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon colombo curry powder (or any mild curry powder)
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) can of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 150 ml (ΒΌ pint) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh coriander leaves, to garnish


    Colombo is a general term for curry in the Caribbean. Colombo powder Is a type of curry powder that is usually mild but fragrant.

    Heat the oil in a large pan, add the chow-chow, onion, cardamom seeds and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, chillies, fennel seeds and curry powder and cook over a low heat until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the coconut milk, stock, curry leaves and turmeric, bring to the boil and cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the chow-chow is tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. Season to taste, then transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with coriander. Serve with fragrant rice.